The objective of the study was to prepare amorphous atorvastatin hemi-calcium using spray-drying and supercritical antisolvent (SAS) process and evaluate its physicochemical properties and oral bioavailability. Atorvastatin hemi-calcium trihydrate was transformed to anhydrous amorphous form by spray-drying and SAS process. With the SAS process, the mean particle size and the specific surface area of amorphous atorvastatin were drastically changed to 68.7 ± 15.8 nm, 120.35 ± 1.40 m2/g and 95.7 ± 12.2 nm, 79.78 ± 0.93 m2/g from an acetone solution and a tetrahydrofuran solution, respectively and appeared to be associated with better performance in apparent solubility, dissolution and pharmacokinetic studies, compared with unprocessed crystalline atorvastatin. Oral AUC0-8 h values in SD rats for crystalline and amorphous atorvastatin were as follow: 1121.4 ± 212.0 ng h/mL for crystalline atorvastatin, 3249.5 ± 406.4 ng h/mL and 3016.1 ± 200.3 ng h/mL for amorphous atorvastatin from an acetone solution and a tetrahydrofuran solution with SAS process, 2227.8 ± 274.5 and 2099.9 ± 339.2 ng h/mL for amorphous atorvastatin from acetone and tetrahydrofuran with spray-drying. The AUCs of all amorphous atorvastatin significantly increased (P < 0.05) compared with crystalline atorvastatin, suggesting that the enhanced bioavailability was attributed to amorphous nature and particle size reduction. In addition, the SAS process exhibits better bioavailability than spray-drying because of particle size reduction with narrow particle size distribution. It was concluded that physicochemical properties and bioavailability of crystalline atorvastatin could be improved by physical modification such as particle size reduction and generation of amorphous state using spray-drying and SAS process. Further, SAS process was a powerful methodology for improving the physicochemical properties and bioavailability of atorvastatin.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pharmaceutical Science